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'Don't be fooled by the result against Sundowns,' says McCarthy of Orlando Pirates

AmaZulu coach Benni McCarthy sought to lower expectations ahead of their clash with Orlando Pirates.
AmaZulu coach Benni McCarthy sought to lower expectations ahead of their clash with Orlando Pirates.
Image: Darren Stewart/Gallo Images

Just because Mamelodi Sundowns thrashed Orlando Pirates and AmaZulu beat Downs does not make Usuthu favourites against the Buccaneers in Thursday's DStv Premiership clash, the Durban team's coach, Benni McCarthy, said.

Sundowns brushed Pirates aside 4-1 at Loftus Versfeld in Pretoria on Friday night. On Monday AmaZulu inflicted a first defeat (1-0) on league leaders Downs in 29 matches in all competitions at Durban's Kings Park.

Such results might make x + y = z in a mathematical formula and, therefore, AmaZulu favourites against Pirates at Soweto's Orlando Stadium in the teams' final match before the Christmas break. Football, however, is not a maths equation, McCarthy was quick to remind.

“Listen, Orlando Pirates are a huge team. People mustn't be fooled just because of Friday's result against Sundowns,” AmaZulu's coach said.

“Sometimes it happens — you just don't have the best game, don't start the game well, and then you have a situation where a team like Sundowns are clinical, lethal, and don't let you off the hook.

So it's going to be a nice game for the neutrals. Two teams who will really go for it and make a spectacle of the last game of the year for both clubs. It's nice that both teams are on the same points and it's the fight for second and third, so it will make for a really good game of football.
AmaZulu coach Benni McCarthy

“Sundowns had a fantastic day and were able to brush Pirates aside. But it doesn't mean now that AmaZulu are going to do the same because we had a fantastic game against Sundowns. It doesn't mean we're the favourites against Pirates.

“They showed it a few weeks ago, where they came here [AmaZulu and Pirates drew 1-1 at Kings Park on December 8], they were well organised and scored one goal. We drew the game and I think it probably could have gone either way.

“Now we have to go there, and when Orlando Pirates want to turn it on, they can turn it on; and if AmaZulu want to turn it on, they can turn it on.

“So it's going to be a nice game for the neutrals. Two teams who will really go for it and make a spectacle of the last game of the year for both clubs.

“It's nice that both teams are on the same points and it's the fight for second and third, so it will make for a really good game of football.”

Pirates bounced back from their big defeat against Sundowns by beating Marumo Gallants 2-1 at Orlando Stadium on Monday. Ghanaian striker Kwame Peprah, having threatened to get off the mark in numerous starts, notched a brace.

AmaZulu’s win against Sundowns elevated last season’s runners-up to third place after a battling start to the season.

Bucs (second place on 27 points from 18 games) and Usuthu (third on 27 from 19) will battled it out to be the side who go into the extended Christmas and Africa Cup of Nations break in second position.


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